Researchers for 10 years have been using a scorpion toxin to develop an innovative “tumor paint” – a drug that finds and attaches to tumor cells, lighting them up to show surgeons exactly where to cut, says Dr. Jim Olson of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Olson, who is presenting at SXSW Interactive 2014, believes it could improve the results of many cancer surgeries.
Watch Dr. Jim Olson describe how tumor paint will allow surgeons to “light up” cancer cells:
“Those cancer cells will then glow for up to two weeks so that surgeons can see what is cancer and what is not cancer,” Olson says. “And the idea, particularly for kids that I take care of who have brain cancer, is to be able to remove the tumor without removing normal brain.”
It is now advancing to human clinical trials.
This breakthrough is only one part of Olson’s ambitious push to improve the lives of children and adults with brain cancer. His research focuses on developing new ways to remove brain tumors, finding new treatments for tumors that have few therapy options and identifying new uses for existing drugs.
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